Kayla Bolnick, our 2016 SPORTS `N SPOKES Junior Athlete of the Year and a student-athlete at Wilsonville (Oregon) High School, has been selected as the Section 8 recipient of the National High School Spirit of Sport Award by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.
As Wilsonville High School’s first para-athlete, Bolnick has guided the way for all future para-athletes within the school district, league and the state of Oregon. Born with spina bifida, Bolnick has not allowed that to define her as an athlete or as a person.
Among the many sports in which she has competed at Wilsonville High School are cross country, swimming and track. She has lettered three times each in track and cross country and twice in swimming. In addition, she received five all-league awards, was named Sports and Spokes National Athlete of the Year in 2016 and received the 2018 All-American High School Courage Award.
Exhibiting tremendous selflessness and a burning desire to help others, Bolnick has volunteered within Special Olympics at Wilsonville High School and has helped with the Unified Basketball Team. She has also volunteered many years with Adaptive Sports Northwest, which is a non-profit designed to enable para-athletes and to allow them to participate in activities such as swimming, track, running, rugby and glowball.
Bolnick mentored elementary school students, including a female wheelchair-bound first-grade student who recently moved into the school district from China. She has also provided help within the Special Education Department, where she organizes reading groups and helps them in their daily routines and activities. She plans to attend either San Diego (California) State University of Oregon State University to pursue a career as a special education teacher.